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Radiation Environment Monitor (Radiation_Environment_Monitor)
12.05.12

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Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

Experiment Overview

This content was provided by Edward Semones, Neal Zapp, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Brief Summary

The Radiation Environment Monitor is a demonstration of the Medipix technology, which has evolved from work at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. The device has the capabilities necessary and is sufficiently developed to become the basis for the first generation of operational active personal space radiation dosimeters. The desired outcome is a successful demonstration of the measurement capabilities with sufficient data to allow the initiation of a follow-on design effort to produce operational hardware and embedded software.

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Edward Semones, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
  • Neal Zapp, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)

  • Lawrence S. Pinsky, Physics Department University of Houston, Houston, TX, United States
  • Developer(s)

    University of Houston, Houston, TX, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization

    Technology Demonstration Office (TDO)

    ISS Expedition Duration:

    May 2012 - October 2013



    Expeditions Assigned

    31/32,33/34,35/36

    Previous ISS Missions

    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • This Radiation Environment Monitor demonstration will provide information that is required to enable the design of an operational active personal space radiation dosimeter.


    • In order to effectively manage radiation risks to crewmembers during long-duration space exploration beyond low Earth orbit, there is a strong need to monitor personal radiation exposure in near real time. The current technology uses passive dosimetry techniques and associated logistics that require down-mass and ground analysis which provides radiation dose information several months after return. The REM is a low mass, low volume and low power dosimeter that may meet the near real time exposure monitoring of crew members.


    • In the future, with limited down-mass resources or resupply ability and the lack of real-time dosimeter measurements, it is imperative to study the Radiation Environment Monitor technology as the first generation of personal active dosimeter.

    Description

    This Radiation Environment Monitor demonstration will provide information that is required to enable the design of an operational active personal space radiation dosimeter.

    The objectives of the experiment are to demonstrate the viability of this technology in the space radiation environment and the ability to assess crew exposure in near real time (via ground software).

    In order to effectively manage radiation risks to crewmembers during long-duration space exploration beyond low Earth orbit, there is a strong need to monitor personal radiation exposure in near real time. The current technology uses passive dosimetry techniques and associated logistics that require down-mass and ground analysis which provides radiation dose information several months after return. The REM is a low mass, low volume and low power dosimeter that may meet the near real time exposure monitoring of crew members.

    In the future, with limited down-mass resources or resupply ability and the lack of real-time dosimeter measurements, it is imperative to study the Radiation Environment Monitor technology as the first generation of personal active dosimeter.

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    Applications

    Space Applications

    This Radiation Environment Monitor demonstration will provide information that is required to enable the design of an operational active personal space radiation dosimeter.
    In order to effectively manage radiation risks to crewmembers during long-duration space exploration beyond low Earth orbit, there is a strong need to monitor personal radiation exposure in near real time. The current technology uses passive dosimetry techniques and associated logistics that require down-mass and ground analysis which provides radiation dose information several months after return. The REM is a low mass, low volume and low power dosimeter that may meet the near real time exposure monitoring of crew members.

    Earth Applications

    This Radiation Environment Monitor technology is currently being investigated for medical imaging.

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    Operations

    Operational Requirements

    The desired minimum data acquired should span all of the likely radiation environments seen during the ISSís orbit. At a minimum, an incrementís worth of data should be obtained. Additionally, if any significant Solar Particle Events (SPEs) occur while the demonstration is ongoing, an effort should be made to take data throughout the duration of the SPE. Should additional operational time be available, variations in software settings can be exercised to validate the ground simulations through adjustments to the parameters via the software input/configuration files.

    Continuous measurement (for the duration of the increment, with daily data downloads) is required in order to record data during all locations of interest, with daily data download.

    Operational Protocols

    The Radiation Environment Monitor is powered by the laptop and controlled by software uploaded to the SSCs. Once the Radiation Environment Monitor is plugged into the SCC, the software will only need to be launched by the crew. The software will display dose and dose rate information during data collection, but the data collected by the device will be stored in computer files and ultimately downloaded to the ground for detailed analysis. The software may be terminated and re-started at any time without impacting the hardware.

    A checkout activity will be required to evaluate the initial settings of the detector's parameters. The checkout activity will consist of the deployment of one Radiation Environment Monitor, followed by data collection and a downlink of the data to allow the ground team time to evaluate if any of the parameters require modification. A calibration activity will then be required to uplink the updated parameter files to the SSCs, if needed. This checkout sequence will be repeated until the ground team has determined the optimal settings for the parameters have been determined.

    At the conclusion of the checkout, the remaining detectors will be deployed. All deployed detectors will run continuously for the entire increment.

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    Results/More Information

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    Related Websites

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    Imagery

    Information provided by the investigation team to the ISS Program Scientist's Office.
    If updates are needed to the summary please contact JSC-ISS-Program-Science-Group. For other general questions regarding space station research and technology, please feel free to call our help line at 281-244-6187 or e-mail at JSC-ISS-Payloads-Helpline.